Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Breaking Down Matthew Fraizer’s Mini Slump

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /

Currently in a mini slump with Double-A Altoona, Pittsburgh Pirates outfield prospect Matthew Fraizer is still showing positive signs at the plate

For much of the first four months of the 2021 minor league season one of the biggest stories among Pittsburgh Pirates prospects was outfielder Matthew Fraizer. The 95th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, Fraizer started the season with High-A Greensboro where he was terrorizing opposing pitchers.

Across 350 plate appearances in 75 games played with the Grasshoppers the left-handed hitting outfielder was arguably the best hitter in the Pirate farm system. Fraizer hit for a .314/.401/.578 slash line to go with a 157 wRC+, 20 home runs and an extra base hit rate of 10.6%.

Fraizer has recorded 119 PAs in his first 29 games with the Curve. In these 119 PAs Frazier has hit for a .267/.336/.448 slash line to go with a 111 wRC+. Respectable numbers, but not the elite numbers he was posting with High-A Greensboro.

These numbers have come as a result of a recent mini slump for Fraizer. Following his strong start with the Curve, he has hit just .215/.312/.329 in his last 93 PAs. He has hit just 1 home run during this stretch with an extra base hit rate of 6.5%.

Fraizer’s 20.4% strikeout rate during this stretch is slightly higher than you want to see but is by no means concerning. Additionally, his 10.8% walk rate is slightly better than league average. So, despite his struggles, Fraizer appears to still be seeing the ball decently well at the plate. Usually this indicates that a batter will be able to hit their way out of their slump.

During this mini slump batting average on balls in play has not Frazier’s friend, either. His BAbip during this slump is just .262. Not terrible, but still nearly 40 points below league average which indicates that he is due for some good luck at the plate and progression back toward the norm.

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Down the stretch this season Fraizer will be looking to bounce back and finish the season strong. If he is able to do so he could put himself in position to begin the 2022 season with Triple-A Indianapolis.